A slice of warm delicious down home caramel apple upside down cake is sure to bring a smile to your face. Add a scoop of ice cream to this spiced cake for an extra special fall treat.
This upside-down apple skillet cake has a caramel apple bottom that becomes the top when you flip it out. We love baking it in a cast iron skillet, but don’t worry if you don’t have one as that isn’t absolutely necessary. The tips for making it in a cake pan are listed below.
When fall and apple season roll around, it is time to break out the warmer flavors of caramel and cinnamon. While the fresh flavors of summer are great, it is always fun to return to these cozy flavors.
This caramel apple upside down skillet cake is the perfect way to highlight those autumnal flavors and feelings together in one delicious dessert. It is part spice cake and part sticky caramel apple.
It is great on its own, but of course a scoop of ice cream and drizzle of caramel make it even more decadent. It is sure to become a family favorite recipe that is requested every autumn.
Making the Cake
Imagine the smells of warm brown sugar, apples and cinnamon baking in your cast iron skillet. In fact, don’t imagine it…
Get yourself moving towards your kitchen so you can make this happen asap! The apple orchards are starting to bring in the new harvest and there is no time like the present to celebrate.
Not only will you have the joy of making something super delicious, but your house will smell amazing. Everyone who enters your kitchen will know something good is about to happen!
Luckily this cake is easy enough to whip up. There is a simple caramel apple layer that incorporates some of our favorite baking spices to make it extra aromatic and flavorful.
The cake itself comes together quickly and you can have the skillet in the oven in no time at all. Which is good, because you are going to want to dive in as soon as possible.
Start by melting together butter and brown sugar in a skillet. You want to get it good and bubbly, that is an easy way to get the notes of caramel without having to mess with a candy thermometer.
We like stirring in cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg because they go so well with apples. However, you can leave them out and just add the vanilla extract if you prefer.
Set that aside while you whip up an easy cake batter. It is a quick and easy cake batter than can easily be made with a hand mixer.
Arrange apple slices over the caramel in the bottom of the pan. We like using slices and arranging them nicely.
However, you can dice them and throw them in if you prefer. The cake is easier to eat if you peel the apples, but again this is a personal preference and it will still taste good if you don’t want to remove the skins.
After the cake is baked, you will want to let it cool for about 10 minutes, then invert it onto your serving platter. Letting it cool completely will almost certainly make the cake stick to the pan as the brown sugar mixture solidifies.
Make sure tho serve this warm with your favorite vanilla ice cream. People will remember this cake for a long-long time.
What if I don’t have a 9u0022 cast iron skillet?
Don’t despair! You can still enjoy this cake. Just make the butter and brown sugar mixture in a saucepan and pour it into a 9″ cake pan. After that, just follow the instructions in the recipe.
What does apple upside down cake taste like?
If a caramel apple and spice cake got together, this caramel apple upside down cake could be their baby!
Possible variations to try:
- Use dark brown sugar for an even deeper caramel-y molasses flavor
- Toss some chopped pecans or walnuts in with the apple and buttery brown sugar mixture
- For a milder spice flavor omit the cloves and add just a dash of nutmeg
More Great Apple Recipes to Try
For another rustic apple cake that is great baked in a cast iron skillet, try Dutch apple cake. The recipe comes from my great-great-grandma and my family has been enjoying it as a breakfast cake or coffee cake for at least a century!
If a layered cake is more your style, check out the layers of applesauce cake with caramel cream cheese frosting. It is perfect for an autumnal party.
Did you make this great recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!
Upside Down Caramel Apple Skillet Cake
Caramel Apple Layer
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 medium apples peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup milk
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- To make the caramel: In a 9 inch cast-iron skillet, melt a stick of butter on medium low heat. When it begins to bubble stir in the brown sugar. Continue stirring until smooth and bubbling, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla. Allow to cool while you make the cake layer.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Cream butter and brown sugar with your hand mixer until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add milk and mix until combined.
- Stir in, by hand, the cinnamon, flour and baking powder. Stir just until combined.
- Arrange the apples over the caramel mixture. Spoon the cake batter over the apples and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving dish.
- Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce if desired.